“We are happy to have reached this agreement and we will be even happier when it is implemented immediately,” Qatar’s Prime Minister and Foreign Minister HE Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabor al-Thani said after Arab Foreign Ministers met over the plan in Cairo Wednesday.
Sheikh Hamad said Syria had agreed to the points, including a complete halt to violence, the release of prisoners, removing the military presence from cities and residential areas and allowing the Arab League and media access to report.
He told a news conference the League would continue contacts between the Syrian government and the opposition “in preparation for a national dialogue within two weeks”.
A League statement said: “The Arab Committee (overseeing the plan) is responsible for submitting periodic reports to the Ministerial Council of the Arab League on the progress of carrying out the plan.”
An Arab source, speaking on condition of anonymity, had earlier said Syria broadly agreed to the initiative, but wanted to discuss the location for holding a national dialogue and the mechanism for the League to monitor the situation.
Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim voiced delight at Syria’s approval on the Arab proposal: “We will be happier if the accord is immediately enforced. When we say immediately, we don’t order but it is out of fraternity and keenness: we aspire for halting violence, release all the detainees. We felt that the Syrian side wanted co-operation.”
Asked whether there were any guarantees to implement the accord, HE Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim said: “The accord itself is the guarantee.”
The Syrian National Council said it wanted the League to take steps that included suspending Syria from the pan-Arab body and ensuring international protection for civilians, with Arab backing.
Arabs took such measures during an uprising in Libya against the rule of Muammar Gaddafi, now ousted and killed. The League’s backing for a no-fly zone over Libya led to a UN Security Council resolution that, in turn, prompted a NATO air campaign.
Citing the Diplomats, Egypt’s official news agency said it was “not possible under any circumstances to repeat the Libyan model in Syria”. NATO has also ruled out any such military intervention in Syria.
Source: Gulf Times